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Khris Middleton says Game 3 vs. Raptors wasn’t Bucks’ best effort

Khris Middleton, Bucks

Milwaukee Bucks star Khris Middleton took the brunt of the blame for a double-overtime loss to the Toronto Raptors in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Sunday, noting he, superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo and Eric Bledsoe must play better in order to get through this series:

“We expect ourselves to play perfect in some scenarios,” said Middleton, according to Lori Nickel of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I know Giannis is going to rebound from this game; I’ve got to rebound from this game. Bled has got to rebound. Watch tape and be better.

“It wasn’t our best. Me myself, Giannis, Bled we’ve got to do a better job. Just competing, making shots, making plays for everybody. We lost. We played bad, us three; the rest of the team played well.”

Bledsoe, Middleton and Antetokounmpo took 16 shots apiece, yet they shot a combined 22.9% from the field against a tormenting Raptors defense that kept them on their toes. Middleton and Bledsoe also missed open shots that have gone in before, contributing to their poor shooting night.

The trio also accounted for 16 of the team’s 20 turnovers, which made a vast difference in the game.

The Bucks depended on huge contributions from their bench, starting with George Hill, who shot an incandescent 7-of-9 from the floor, 3-of-4 from deep and 7-of-8 from the foul line to lead the team in scoring with 24 points. Trusty hybrid guard Malcolm Brogdon followed suit with 20 points of his own, including some heady play down the stretch.

Yet if Milwaukee hopes to win, it must begin with the starters having a much better shooting night than they did on Sunday, now bound for a quick rest before reloading for Game 4 on Tuesday.